Child trafficking Preventing child trafficking

Responding to modern slavery and child trafficking is often reactive as the child has already been abused. We need a robust, pro-active approach to prevent abuse from happening in the first place.

Working together across borders

Professionals must make sure children who move to the UK from overseas are safe and well.

We need to work together at an international level to identify and support vulnerable children who are at risk of trafficking and modern slavery. This work should include:

  • cross-border investigations and assessments
  • liaising with social welfare services overseas.

Children mustn't be sent back to their country of origin without cross-border professionals working together to protect them from traffickers or without plans for their long-term safety.

Sharing information is vital. We recommend creating an international resource directory listing relevant overseas statutory services and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). This resource should explain each organisation's responsibilities and give advice to professionals on how to work with them (Hurley, John-Baptiste and Pande, 2015).

Training for professionals who work with children and young people

Professionals are increasingly working with children and young people who:

  • have been trafficked to the UK from overseas
  • may have been sent here by their families to escape war, political turmoil and poverty
  • come from communities with very different cultural and religious customs and practices.

To identify and support these children more effectively, professionals need training and professional development which covers:

  • the impact of migration and displacement on children and young people
  • approaches to working with migrant and asylum seeking children, and children who have been trafficked
  • information on safeguarding and child protection issues in other parts of the world
  • up-to-date information on legislation, policy and guidance on trafficking and modern slavery.

Resources for professionals

Child Trafficking Advice Centre

If you work with children or young people who may have been trafficked into the UK, contact our specialist service for information and advice.

Call us or email for more information.

0808 800 5000

Find out more about CTAC

Advice booklets for children, young people and professionals

CTAC have produced a series of leaflets for professionals working in different sectors giving advice on how to how to spot potential signs of trafficking and what to do if they are worried about a child.

View CTAC advice leaflets

Free to move, invisible to care

CTAC is the UK partner of ICARUS, a European Commission-funded project to protect vulnerable children from Romania.

Combining learning from CTAC and ICARUS, Free to move, invisible to care identifies current gaps and challenges in the systems, processes and tools used to identify and protect children moved across borders. Includes the International Multi-Agency Assessment Framework, a tool to help professionals consider wider issues in gathering information for child assessments.

View Free to move, invisible to care

Modern slavery strategy

In November 2014, the government published a strategy setting out the cross-government approach to tackling modern slavery - encompassing slavery, servitude, forced and compulsory labour and human trafficking. It has 4 components: pursue, prevent, protect and prepare.

Download Modern slavery strategy (PDF)

Resources on child trafficking

Browse our library collection for resources on preventing child trafficking.

Search our library catalogue

Research and resources

Read our service evaluations, research reports, briefings and leaflets about child trafficking and modern slavery.

See our research and resources

Further information and advice

Helping children who have been trafficked

Find out how you can help protect children who have been trafficked or are at risk of child trafficking.

Keeping children safe from child trafficking

Legislation, policy and guidance

Key legislation, policy and guidance for the UK and internationally about child trafficking and modern slavery.

See legislation, policy and guidance

Facts and statistics

Read the lasts facts and statistics about child trafficking and modern slavery.

See facts and statistics

Support for professionals


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Our free service for people who work with children can help you find the latest policy, practice, research and news on child protection and related subjects.

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Helping you keep children safe

Read our guide for professionals on what we do and the ways we can work with you to protect children and prevent abuse and neglect.

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Training and consultancy

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Sharing knowledge to keep children safe

Read our guide to the NSPCC Knowledge and Information Service to find out how we can help you with child protection queries, support your research, and help you learn and develop.

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